Shrimp and Beetroot Salad

Picky eaters. I don’t understand them. How can anyone possibly not want to explore all the amazing varieties of food out there at every chance they get? I love food. I love cooking food. I love growing food. I love trying new foods. Isn’t everyone like this?

No. And I somehow happened to marry one of those other people. Neal is one of the pickiest eaters I have ever encountered. I don’t think I realized this when we were dating or even engaged. Maybe that was because I was enamored with the amazing man that would become my husband or because I tried harder in the kitchen to impress. For whatever reason, I see clearly now that I’ve married a man who likes consistency and reliability. In other words he eats the same foods over and over again. He’s culinarily boring.

He use to keep quiet and tolerate my cooking adventures well. Not to brag, but it is pretty rare that I steer too far off course and create anything that isn’t pleasing to the palette. As our marriage has aged I’ve noticed he’s more prone to point out to me when he doesn’t care for something and these times are become numerous. Numerous enough that I have come to the realization I am yoked to a picky eater.

I explain this because the recipe I share with you here was one of the ones that was on the “Jenn Only” list because Neal hates beats. I love beats. They have been my favorite vegetable as a kid. Just don’t pickle them. Bless it, I hate a pickled beat, but I digress.

Neal was working late in the machine shop of a friend, working to rebuild two large wagons that had recently been added to our arsenal of hay baling equipment. When he told me he wouldn’t be home until late I knew it was my night to bust out the beats and make this delicious salad. It was fantastic. I even used the left over ingredients (minus the beats) to make two sandwich wraps to take to Neal for dinner while we worked. Maybe I can work with this picky eater I love after all.



8oz uncooked, easy peel shrimp
1T minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
2.5 cups of chopped greens of your choice
1T feta cheese
1T slivered almonds
0.5 cups of sliced beets – cooked fresh and then sliced or canned sliced
2t olive oil
2t balsamic vinegar
2t dijon mustard

Thaw if necessary and peel shrimp. Place in bowl and toss with the garlic as well as the salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat until thoroughly cooked. Set aside.

Plate the salad by layering the greens, feta, almonds, beets, and the shrimp. In a small bowel mix the oil, vinegar and mustard. Serve on the side.



Welcome to The Pony Draw

Welcome to The Pony Draw! Neal and I are excited that you’ve stopped by and hope you enjoy watching and learning together with us as we journey on this homesteading adventure. We are a Christian family of two carving out a life on our ten acre, homestead farm in the Sandhills of North Carolina. What began as our simple home when we married in the Fall of 2014 has become what we hope will be our lifelong project of finding ways for the land to sustain us and future generations of our family.

It all started with a love for the outdoors. I am avid equestrian who has always dreamed of turning my amateur hobby into a profession while Neal has grown up on the land hunting and landscaping. In the Fall of 2014 we started with a small fall garden which provided amply for us. In the Spring of 2015 we greatly expanded the garden and added flocks of chickens, ducks, and turkeys. That summer saw the addition of hogs, cattle, and equines (horses and mules) as well as a hay production partnership. During the winter months we have worked on growing our home through the general maintenance required to be ready in the spring and the crafting of home goods for sale through local venues and online sites.

Through this blog we plan to share what we learn along the way, share with you a little bit of our community, and reflect on the happenings of the moment. By following us here on the blog you will see all the work and joy that goes into sustaining a homestead farm, perhaps learn a few new skills yourself, and get a glimpse into life in the sometimes forgotten Sandhills of North Carolina. We look forward to sharing with the world the happenings at The Pony Draw.

Thank you again and God bless!


P.S. One of the early questions I received was “Why The Pony Draw? What does that even mean?” Well, the name comes from the caption in a photo I found years ago among genealogy research done by a family member. One side of my family immigrated to American just before the Second World War and settled in northwest Kansas to establish farms of their own. My Great Granduncle George had a farm that included a draw. A draw is a small natural depression that water drains into during wet weather. At Uncle George’s farm the draw was located in the horse pasture and thus was referred to as the pony draw. Our farm in North Carolina is on the edge of a Carolina bay, a large elliptical depression in the earth that water also drains into during wet weather. The name seemed to be an appropriate nod to our family farmers of the past as well as reference to our own geographical features. Pictured below are my Great Granduncle George, his son Paul, and grandson Paulie.10402004_845744995471231_2667476606424973609_n